Are you Doing your Bit?
The moment you give the Indian Education System a thought, you"re probably abuzz with a number of descriptive phrases. Here"s how my thought process went - creativity killer, mediocre, marks-centric, biased, narrow-minded, reservations, education-or the lack of it?
The total Indian population is approximately 1.2 billion people. Half of these people fall into the 0-25 years age group. The average number of years of schooling of adults is 5. Nearly 40% students fail to complete primary education and another 40% fail to complete secondary education. Only 11% of the 17-23 year olds attend universities. Out of the 1 million who graduate each year, a meager 25%-45% are termed "employable". What"s more, about 40% of all graduates take at least a year to find a job out of which, 20% percent take more than that.
Oh yes, we have problems. But, problems create opportunities, don"t they?
India’s education sector currently offers an estimated US$45 billion market, with a potential 16% five-year Compound Annual Growth Rate ( CAGR.) This spans the kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) segment, private professional colleges and tutoring, vocational training, test preparation, and preschools and, with the rise in e-learning, the numbers are on a roll.
We, at StudentStory.in, handpicked 3 interesting startups in the Education space. These startups strive to solve a diverse set of pain points, and have been picked thus, to showcase just how much opportunity there is and more importantly, just how much one can set out to change.
Hippocampus Learning Centres (HLC) believes that one of the sure shot ways out of poverty is education. HLC’s work focuses exclusively on the 700 million rural Indians with the aim of improving the learning of children. HLC establishes learning centres in villages offering preschool and after school programs to age groups from 3 years to 10 years with the aim of improving a child’s capacity to learn and do better in school. The fees at these centres are between Rs.60-Rs.100 (USD$1-$2) per month, which is affordable for poor families. The curriculum is centrally developed to cater to mixed age groups and is largely teacher facilitated. HLC hires woman from the local community as teachers, trains them to run the centres and provides them ongoing support. HLC intends to make these ongoing sustainable community enterprises and also achieve financial sustainability as an organization. HLC is based in Bangalore, India. They began with 8 teachers in 8 villages in 2010 and in 2 years have reached 86 villages with 275 teachers in 2012, offering both Kindergarten and Primary Education Centres. They recently raise raised $ 1.3 million from Lok Capital and Acumen Fund as part of a Series A round of funding.Creya Learning - Founded by Hari K Verma, Praveen B Vudoagiri and Datla V Reddyin in 2011, Creya believes that for children to be successful in a dynamic, fast paced and an uncertain world they need skills beyond the "Foundational" knowledge provided by schools. Built on a philosophy of constructivism, Creya encourages students to build their own understanding and knowledge through experiences and reflect on those experiences by asking questions, exploring the surroundings and making an assessment of their discoveries.
Creya programs are the basic delivery units of the Creya experience. Designed to be age and grade appropriate, the programs draw up their content and activities from a curriculum repository that includes disciplines like Science, Technology, Engineering, Robotics, Electronics, Mathematics, Digital Media and Arts as well as Life & Leadership Skills. The company has developed 900 hours worth of curriculum, working with institutions and teachers in the US. This curriculum is customized to work alongside the existing timetables that schools here follow. Creya currently serves 4 schools and plans to raise that number to 8 (i.e 8000 students) by the end of this year and 40 by the end of next year. They have recently raised USD 5 million.
Eduora - In India, one doesn’t generally hear about kids starting to code while yet in Grade 6 and coming up with a product of their own in their early twenties. Decoding the complex web of Learning Management Systems used by large schools, colleges and universities, 22 year old Nagarjun Palavalli wants to simplify and facilitate education. With Eduora, the aim is to bring all the important features of an Learning Management System (LMS) without its extra baggage and make a social network around it, enabling students and teachers to engage with ease. The current beta which was launched over a month ago has about 700 users and close to 100 courses. They have raised a first round of USD 25000 from Seeders Venture Capital.While each one of us has a lot to say about the Indian Education System, what have we done about it? Are you doing your bit?